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An angel changed this rebellious teen’s life by saving it.
John was a teenager in the ‘70s, raised in a very religious family. But he was more interested in hot cars and pretty girls. “My faith was very superficial,” he says, “consisting mostly of a strict adherence to the rules except when my parents weren’t looking.”
Shortly after getting his driver's license, John landed a well-paying job at a local grocery store chain. Soon he talked his dad into letting him buy a motorcycle. “Now, my independence was complete,” John explains. “I earned my own money. I was buying my own vehicle. I felt like an adult.” (And at six feet tall and 250 pounds, he certainly looked like one!)
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So one day when John’s mother forbade him from visiting his girlfriend after school, he was immediately rebellious. “I’m going, and nothing you can say or do will change my mind!” he shouted. His mother, stunned, began to cry. John had never defied her. But now her son was storming out the back door. “I’ll be home by ten!” he shouted over his shoulder.
After school, John went to his girlfriend's house in a nearby town about 30 minutes away. The teens spent the evening together watching television. “I was so wrapped up in her that I paid no attention to the time,” John says. Finally at 9:45, he headed home.
But getting home normally took a half hour. To shave time off his drive, John decided to take a shortcut across a highway closed for construction. Veering around the yellow-and-black striped barricades, John sped up to about 70 miles per hour. A few moments later, he lost control and the motorcycle began to flip.
“Time seemed to slow to a crawl,” John says. “I hit the pavement, head first, and tumbled down the highway, head over heels. I remember seeing the moon pass my knees! And as I rolled to a stop, I remember the extreme silence of the night.” Clothes torn, John was bleeding from head to toe and could barely move. He was also in the middle of nowhere, on a detoured highway, with no hope of traffic coming by. Would he die, he wondered hazily, before the road crews discovered him the next morning?
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“As I lay there drifting in and out of consciousness, I saw two very bright lights approaching,” John says. “It was a car, and I knew I needed to stop it.” Shakily, John stumbled to his feet, stood swaying in the middle of the road and waved his arms for a moment, then fell again onto the pavement. But the driver had apparently seen him, for the car slowed, then stopped. It was a recreational vehicle.
A man stepped out of the RV and quickly assessed the situation. He lifted John’s huge motorcycle to the side of the road, then easily picked John up in his arms, and carried him to the back of his RV. How did he have so much strength? John couldn’t concentrate. Everything seemed to be happening a million miles away.
He passed out until they reached his girlfriend’s house. “Her surprised mother opened the door, and the man carried me inside and laid me down on their couch,” John says. He faded again.
Later at the hospital, John and his mother heard an amazing story. His girlfriend's mother explained that with hardly a word of explanation, the stranger had deposited John on their couch, and while the women were caring for John, he disappeared.
The incident was a turning point for John. He became far more serious about his behavior, his respect for his mother and especially his faith in God. Today, John is still a major skeptic when it comes to miracles, except for that night. “I have thought about that accident over the years,” he admits, “and have found several things that I cannot explain:”
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For example, how did John escape a high speed crash with only minor cuts and abrasions? Why was the stranger driving on a barricaded road? How could he be strong enough to move the motorcycle, and to easily carry John in his arms? How did he know where John’s girlfriend lived? How did he leave without the women noticing?
Joan’s new book, eighth in her angels/miracles series, is titled Angelic Tails: True Stories of Heavenly Canine Companions, published by Loyola Press.